Uh-oh: Female Drink Drivers Have Doubled, According To New Survey

It looks like more females than ever are getting behind the wheel when over the limit - but why?

Lukasz

by Stevie Martin |

The number of women convicted of drinking while drunk has nearly doubled in the last few years, according to a survey conducted by Direct Line . In 1998, women totalled 9% of drink-driving convictions, but by 2012 this had gone up to 17%.

Even more worryingly, nearly two-thirds of those who'd been caught drink-driving admitted they were unaware of the legal limit, and more than half said they felt 'OK' to drive, which is why they chanced it.

'Drink-driving wrecks lives, and the personal consequences of a drink-drive conviction can be devastating,' said road safety minister Robert Goodwill. 'In 2013, 803 women failed a breathalyser test after an accident and that is 803 too many. That's why we are cracking down on the minority who drink and drive by introducing a new offence of causing serious injury by dangerous driving and closing loopholes in the law to make it easier for police to prosecute drink-drivers.'

The issue seems to be, overwhelmingly, a 'oh I'll be fine' approach, not helped by the fact that there's no hard-and-fast rules to ensure you stay under the limit; it's not like a glass of wine is OK for everyone or a beer will push us all over the limit. The factors that affect drink-driving are as follows:

  • Your weight

  • Your gender (men tend to process alcohol faster than women)

  • Your metabolism

  • The type and amount you're drinking

  • Your current stress levels

  • Whether you've eaten recently

  • Age (younger people tend to process alcohol more slowly)

READ MORE: Cycling Home Shit-Faced Isn't Clever. So Why Are We Doing It Anyway?

So, as you can see, it's pretty much the 'better be safe than sorry' approach that should take precedence over the 'oh I'll be fine'. Unless you fancy being banned from the road for at least 12 months and fined until your eyes water (up to £5,000), that is.

'Part of the problem is a lack of awareness and confusion as to what constitutes drink-driving, and also the misguided belief that, in some circumstances, driving while over the limit can be justified,' says Steve Maddock of Direct Line. Probably best to stick to Diet Coke when hitting the road but, let's be honest, we all knew that anyway, so why do we keep doing it?

Anna, 26, from Cheshire, was arrested for drink-driving last year and it's had (understandably) a huge effect on her job hunt, as well as her confidence. 'I think the worst part is that the conviction will stay with me forever and I will always have to declare it. The [driving] ban I can deal with, just about, but it has knocked my confidence massively as I feel like it's totally not a reflection of me as a person,' she told The Debrief. 'A careless mistake will now stay with me forever and will be extremely harmful to my future career'.

Totally not worth it, guys.

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Picture: Lukasz Wierzbowski

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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